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Reduce clutter: use Feng shui

Do you have too much stuff in your home that you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel stuck in your life and don't know what to do? I think most people in this country would say yes to questions like these, including myself.

If you want to clear clutter out of your home and give your life a fresh start and get it moving again, I would recommend the book "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston.

As I talked about in last week's column on Feng shui, everything in the universe is chi, or energy. For your life to go well, it is vital to have a good flow of life force energy in home and workplace.

Feng shui is all about ensuring the free flow of energy. Using Feng Shui principles can improve this energy flow.

What is clutter?

Karen lists four categories of clutter:

• Things you do not use or love.

• Things that are untidy or disorganized.

• Too many things in too small a space.

• Anything unfinished.

Clutter can "catch" energy, stopping its free circulation and turning it dull and stagnant.

The presence of clutter tends to lock up energy and prevent the flow of chi.

Chi should always be on the move. Air and energy cannot circulate where clutter exits. Clutter is stuck energy. Clutter creates an obstacle to the smooth flow of energy around a space. It drags the energy down.

"Clutter accumulates when energy stagnates and, likewise, energy stagnates when clutter accumulates. So the clutter begins as a symptom of what is happening with you in your life."

How does clutter affect you?

According to Kingston, having clutter can cause extra cleaning. It can make you feel burdened, tired, hopeless and ashamed. It can keep you in the past and leave no room for anything new to come into your life. It can put your life on hold. It can affect your body weight.

People who have lots of clutter in their homes are often overweight. It can make you procrastinate and become disorganized. The clutter blocks your energy and makes it difficult to get yourself to do anything. It can cause disharmony and depression. It can cost you financially. It can distract you from important things in life.

Unneeded and unloved items can not only clutter your space, they can also clutter your psyche. Clutter causes problems in people's lives.

Clutter can restrict the flow of opportunities coming to you. Clutter can decrease productivity and creativity. Clutter can clog your life and hinder your progress in the world.

How do you deal with your clutter?

You can keep it, wait until you die and let your relatives sort things out. Or you can take responsibility and clear it yourself. It's far more empowering to do it yourself.

Deciding what to keep and what to give/throw away is not an easy thing to do. Ideally everything you keep should have a valid purpose. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide:

• Is it useful and when did you use it the last time?

• Do you absolutely love it?

• Does it make your feel uplifted and energized when you think or look at it?

If it fails this "clutter test," then it's time to let go.

How do you clear clutter and deal with the stuff you no longer want to keep?

First, prepare several boxes. Then take everything out of a drawer or an area. Decide what to do. Unwanted items can go to one of the following boxes: a giveaway box, a recycling box, a repair box, a selling box or a trash box.

What happens once you clear the clutter out of your house?

Clearing clutter out of your house also helps you clear clutter out of your mind. It lifts up your energy and spirits. You will feel better and lighter. You will feel a renewal of energy. You will feel lighter in body, mind and spirit.

When you get rid of clutter from your house, you clear the space for something new and better. It will allow new things and new opportunities to come into your life. It will energize you and revitalize your life.

Clearing out the clutter and removing the obstacles to the harmonious flow of energy brings more harmony and balance into your life.

You will experience more freedom. Plus, you'll feel a transformation in your life.

Adjustments made to our outer physical world can really change and improve our inner selves. If you have a clutter problem, give Feng shui a try. You could be surprised and amazed by what Feng shui can do for you.

In my next column I will share with you some additional good Feng shui practices.